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Each quarter we do our best to provide you with an update on any Smilers related related information, news snippets and anything else we think you might be interested in!  Full details of all new issues will appear under the New Issues menu option.

Earlier News Reports (e.g. Q1-17) are provided in Adobe Acrobat pdf file format and are generally available during the first couple of weeks following the preceding quarter. Click on this link News Archive to go to the Smilers News Archive page.

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Q3 2017 

  • A New Hope - Game of Thrones sheets on offer! 

    Ian Billings has just e-mailed me details of a competition which will be launched later today by a US based Game of Thrones fan site which has as its prize two sheets of the Game of Thrones stamp sheets. Here is the link....

    Quoting from their web site:

    "Last year, in conjunction with Royal Mail, Tourism Ireland released a series of stamps based off each episode of Game of Thrones season 6. As you can see below, they feature sigils from various Great Houses of Westeros — a Stark direwolf, a Greyjoy kraken, a Lannister lion, and so on — as well as other images associated with the show, like a Hand of the King pin, a three-eyed raven, and the Night King.

    We have two sheets to give away, which we’ll be doing on this week’s episode of WiC Live, our Game of Thrones aftershow. And yes, we know Game of Thrones season 7 is over, but we’re going to take an episode and look back on the season as a whole.

    Here’s how the giveaway works: on this upcoming Wednesday — September 6 — we’re going to look back at season 7 on WiC Live, which we’ll stream live on our Facebook page at 4:00 p.m. CST. We’ll kick off the show with a trivia question about Game of Thrones or A Song of Ice and Fire. When we ask the question, leave the answer in the comments!

    After the show is over, we’ll reach out via Facebook to the first person to leave a correct answer, and ask for a full name and address. If you get back to us with those things within 24 hours, we’ll send you the two sheets of stamps! If you take longer than 24 hours, we’ll choose the person who left a correct answer second quickest, and so on until we get usable responses.

    This giveaway is open to anyone on the planet Earth. We hope to see you on Wednesday! For clarification, see the full, official rules below. (Also, note that while these stamps will look good anywhere, they can probably only be used to send actual mail in the UK.)

    This giveaway is open to anyone on Earth. Void where prohibited by law. Limited to one entry per person.

    To win the stamps, hopeful entrants must go to our Facebook page at 4:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 and watch WiC Live, where we will ask a trivia question. The first person to leave a correct answer to the trivia question will be eligible to the two sheets of stamps. Within 24 hours of WiC Live ending, we’ll contact the entrant who left his or her correct answer quickest. We’ll write that entrant on Facebook and ask for his or her full name and address. The entrant must respond to our message within 24 hours. Otherwise, he and she will be disqualified and we’ll move on to the entrant who left his or her correct answer second quickest, and so on until we get a usable response.

    Neither WiC, FanSided, nor Time Inc. is responsible for any damage to computer equipment related to participating in this promotion. Items being distributed are not transferable or redeemable for cash. Consumers who obtain items are responsible for any and all taxes. Promotion begins at on 9/06/17 at 4:00 p.m. CST and ends at 4:30 p.m. CST that same day. Writers at Winter is Coming, employees at FanSided, and employees at Time Inc. or any related companies are not eligible to enter or win. The winners may be required to complete affidavits or eligibility and waiver of liability/publicity releases before prize(s) can be awarded. Facebook is neither a sponsor or co-sponsor of this promotion. Sponsor: TI Media Solutions, Inc., 225 Liberty Street, NY, NY 10281."

    .... So good luck with that!! (06/09)

  • Two New Star Wars Stamp Sheets

    In a major press release campaign launched today, Royal Mail have announced a second Star Wars series of stamps and collectibles to be issued on 12th October 2017 on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars. For stamp sheets collectors there are three sheets that will be of particular interest.  A generic Smilers sheet (priced at £7) and at least one A4 so-called "collector sheet" (priced at £17.50) which feature all twenty stamps from the two Star Wars stamp series issued by Royal Mail.  We will be stocking both sheets and enquiries are welcome from interested buyers.  As to personalised stamp sheets using the new stamps I have no information on these at the present time so I think these may be unlikely but the previous sheets are still available from Royal Mail. 


    There is a whole range of other products being released such as Prestige Booklets, self-adhesive booklets, First Day Covers, Presentation Packs, other collectible packs and covers such as this delightful souvenir cover and framed stamp block of 20 stamps set against a background of a rising moon.  Why the latter wasn't made into a second Collector sheet is difficult to understand except for the price, £45 for a framed block of 20 stamps retailing at £13.00, 12 of which were issued two years ago. (04/09)

  • Autumn Stampex 2017

    The PTS will be be holding their bi-annual stamp show at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London this Autumn from the 13th to the 16th September 2017.  As has been their custom for the past fourteen years or so, there are plans to issue a Business Customised stamp sheet themed around classic toys, to coincide with Royal Mail's new issue which has also been timed to coincide with Autumn STAMPEX 2017.

    Comprising 10 x Teddy Bear Smilers stamps, the attached labels feature an assortment of classic Victorian children's toys set against a backdrop of a border motif which could be mistaken for a Victorian safety curtain at the Christmas pantomime.  We will have this sheet in stock and can offer it at £25.00 including p+p to the UK for anyone who cannot get to the show. Please e-mail me your requirements. (27/08)  

  • Benham Business Sheets - Schedule Change

    At the beginning of July we covered news of a brand new Business Customised stamp sheet that was planned by Benham, as advertised and illustrated on their website and available for pre-order.  The sheet was entitled World War I - Royal Family at War.

    At the time I reckoned the sheet was a "banker" when viewed against the disappointing delays surrounding the issue of the Celtic Lisbon Lions sheet. It seems I was wrong in that assessment! 

    Based on recent information provided by Benham it now appears that the sheet design required significant modifications before approvals could be obtained which potentially prejudiced the planned issue date of this sheet. To avoid such delays, Benham have decided to postpone the sheet from its plans this year but indicated that, subject to receipt of appropriate approvals, it might make an appearance next year.  My thanks to Chris for bringing this to my attention.

    To plug the gap in its schedule, Benham have unveiled an alternative World War I sheet  design for which approvals are already in place.  Sheet No. GBS0261 World War 1 British Politicians and the Home Front has replaced GBS0260 and is due out later this year, although exact release date is unknown.  

    Quoting from their website:  " This superb customised sheet carries ten Union Flag Definitive (stamps) with labels depicting leading British politicians and the efforts of the Home Front. The background features the Houses of Parliament and Prime Ministers H. H. Asquith (1908 - 1916) and David Lloyd George  (1916 - 1922). Lloyd George took over as Prime Minister on 6th December 1916 and galvanised the war effort. His prodigious energy and leadership skills contributed immensely to Britain's role in victory in 1918 and at the Versailles Peace Conference."  The sheet is sensibly priced at £29.50 and is from a limited edition of 500 sheets.  (04/08)

  • Harry Vardon - Jersey Born Golfer (1870-1937)

    Jersey Post have issued a commemorative sheet timed (I suspect) to coincide with the British Open Golf Championships but also apparently (!) the 80th anniversary of the death of perhaps their finest golfing son. 


    Henry William "Harry" Vardon (9 May 1870 – 20 March 1937) was a professional golfer from the Bailiwick of Jersey. He was a member of the fabled Great Triumvirate of the sport in his day, along with John Henry Taylor and James Braid. Vardon won The Open Championship a record six times and also won the 1900 U.S. Open. I have this sheet in stock and can offer it at £25.00 (incl. of p+p UK). Overseas buyers please contact me for shipping costs. (25/07) 

  • New / Re-printed UniversalMail UK Strips Now Available 

    Universal Mail are licensed to produce personalised stamp strips intended to be used on international postcards up to 10g. They are available from a variety of tourist attractions up and down the country. Twenty-four new or re-printed strips with new date codes (mostly 05/17) have recently been released and will be shortly be included in an update to my collectors guide featuring these personalised stamp strips. The current edition can be downloaded by clicking on this link.

    The re-printed / new strips are as follows:

    • UM-001g - London Day - 8th Edition (UK0001 05/17)
    • UM-002g - London Night - 8th Edition (UK0002 05/17)
    • UM-003g - London Icons - 8th Edition (UK0003 05/17)
    • UM-004g - Tower Bridge - 6th Edition (UK0004 05/17))
    • UM-007g - London Eye - 8th Edition (UK0007 05/17)
    • UM-021g - Scotland - 8th Edition (UK0020 05/17)
    • UM-033b - Historic Royal Palaces #1 - 2nd Edition (UK0032 05/17)
    • UM-041b - Oxford - 3rd Edition (UK0040 05/17)
    • UM-042c - Sussex - 4th Edition (UK0041 05/17)
    • UM-047c - Bath - 4th Edition (UK0046 05/17)
    • UM-052b - Cambridge - 3rd Edition (UK0051 05/17)
    • UM-058d - Animals Of Scotland - 5th Edition (UK0057 05/17)
    • UM-059d - Scottish Icons - 5th Edition (UK0058 05/17)
    • UM-063e - Inverness - 6th Edition (UK0062 05/17)
    • UM-064c - Isle Of Skye - 4th Edition (UK0063 05/17)
    • UM-065b - North Wales Attractions  - 3rd Edition (UK0064 05/17)
    • UM-067a - The National Gallery - 2nd Edition (UK0066 05/14)
    • UM-081c - Images of England - 4th Edition (UK0080 05/17)
    • UM-120c - Edinburgh - 4th Edition (UK0119 05/17)
    • UM-131b - Cornwall - Cornwall - 3rd Edition (UK0120 05/17)
    • UM-123a - Titanic Belfast - 2nd Edition (UK0123 05/17)
    • UM-153a - Windsor - 2nd Edition (UK0152 05/17)
    • UM-154a - Tower Bridge Exhibition - 2nd Edition (UK0153 05/17)
    • UM-185 - The Green Welly, Tyndrum - 1st Edition (UK0185 05/17)

I have a few complete sets of the above 24 strips available for immediate dispatch priced at £200 incl. p+p to UK (£210 overseas). Individually they are priced at £9 + £2 p+p (UK) and £9 + £3 p+p (Overseas). Please send me an e-mail if you would like to reserve a set. I have now updated my collectors guide of these issues incorporating the latest strips and you can can download a copy of this by clicking on this link. (05/07)

  • Two new Isle of Man Customised Sheets 

    Two new customised stamp sheets have issued/announced over the past month or so and these are currently available to buy on-line at Isle of Man Post website.

    The first is priced £21.18 and was issued on the 10th June 2017 as a celebration of HRH Prince Phillip's contribution to the British monarchy - A Lifetime of Achievement. The sheet is presented in a deluxe four sided commemorative folder with commentary from late Peter Jennings who was a member of the Royal Philatelic Society from 1966 until his death in 2013. The text was also contributed to by charity campaigner and Falklands veteran Simon Weston CBE.

    The second sheet priced at a more modest £12.50 marks 600 years of the Tynwald ceremony, held in St Johns and was first described in the Customary Law of 1417, the Island's earliest written statute. To celebrate this occasion IoM Post has produced a limited edition (2017 only) commemorative sheet and folder. The Tynwald Day ceremony is a celebration of parliamentary rule on the Isle of Man. (01/07)


  • New(ish) Themed Sheet spotted on eBay

    During a recent browse of the Smilers sheets on offer on eBay I spotted an unusual Themed Sheet that I hadn't seen before.  Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Boys Brigade of Scotland, it appears to have been produced around November 2008 which would coincide well with the date of the event.  


    It appears to have used the official logo design for the label so it could be from a larger run of these or a one off, we may never know.  If anyone has a similar sheet in their collection or has information on who produced the sheet, please get in touch. (01/07)

  • Official - The world has gone mad!

    Two new business sheets have been announced/emerged this week.  

    The first marks the Tercentenary of Freemasonry and in a somewhat surprising move  the Isle of Man Post Office has teamed up with Royal Mail and The United Grand Lodge of England to produce/market a British business customised stamp sheet comprising 10 x 1st class England Shield and Lion stamps plus labels, which of course can only be used for postage prepayment in the UK!

    Is this the first example of a Postal Authority producing a sheet of postage stamps valid in another Postal Authority area of which probably none of them will actually be used for postage pre-payment?  Is it me, or has the world gone mad?  What next - suggestions welcomed and the best will be published here.

    Produced in a limited edition of 700 it is priced at £45 and is currently available from the Isle of Man Post website although issue is not scheduled until the 31st July 2017!  Maybe if they get enough advanced orders this sheet will actually be produced which is more than can be said for the Celtic Lisbon Lions sheet! 

    Personally, I feel this Isle of Man Post Office inspired/Royal Mail produced business customised stamp sheet is another worrying development in the Smilers Story and reinforces my belief that Royal Mail will do just about anything to prop up their ailing business customised stamp sheet product. Post Script: Happily now available! 

    The Celtic Lisbon Lions stamp sheet previously announced in Royal Mail's Key News and  British Philatelic Bulletin publications has so far failed to emerge and no one at Royal Mail can give me any information as to when it is expected!  My apologies to all of those that have written in expressing interest in this sheet but I am as much in the dark as you as to when it will be available for dispatch. 

    On a more reliable note, we can look forward to another Business Customised Stamp sheet later this year (no date announced) from the Benham stable entitled The Royal Family at War - another in their World War 1 series.  Priced at a competitive £29.50 the stock code of this sheet is GBS0260 and is available for pre-order from the Benham website. (01/07)

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                                    Last updated: September 06, 2017